How Long is a Therapy Session? (Find Out)

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Deciding to undergo therapy is a big one. When you make this decision, you accept that you need help and are actively searching for it. This is a substantial first step in personal development towards resolving the issue at the heart of all your problems. 

But that doesn’t mean that deciding to attend therapy is an easy one. This decision can be incredibly intimidating, and it might leave you with all sorts of questions that you want to be answered. One of the biggest questions you might have is, “how long is a therapy session?”

This guide will look at how long a therapy session is. So if you want to find out more, keep on reading. 

What Does a Therapy Session Entail?

Before we look at how long a therapy session is, let’s take a look at what a therapy session entails. After all, this will have a significant impact on how long the therapy session itself lasts.

There are a couple of different styles of therapy that you might participate in, you could attend therapy on your own, you could attend therapy with your partner (couples therapy), or you could attend group therapy with people who are experiencing similar issues to you. No matter what style of therapy you attend, the principle behind each session is the same. 

Therapy is a chance for individuals to talk. With the help of a therapist, a therapy session can be used as an opportunity to speak about the issues you are experiencing and resolve these problems. The whole point of therapy is that you come to a solution of your own. The therapist is simply there to guide you in the right direction. 

In a therapy session, you will explain your current situation. Once you have explained your situation, you will discuss your feelings about the situation and how certain events make you feel. From there, the therapist will be able to use their expert knowledge to assist you in resolving that problem, and this will help you improve your situation and progress to a stage where you feel happy. 

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How Long is a Therapy Session?

As we have said, therapy is an excellent opportunity to talk about what is going on in your life and a good chance to address feelings that you may have been suppressing. Therapy generally consists simply of talking, and this can be intimidating when you first decide to go to therapy. Before you sign up, you might want to know how long each session takes, so let’s find out. 

The exact length of a therapy session will differ depending on the type of therapy you are attending and where you go for your therapy. However, most solo therapy sessions will only last 50 minutes to 1 hour. Instead of attending one very long session, you will usually attend multiple 50-minute sessions over consecutive weeks. This will allow you to progress over time rather than being overwhelmed after a single, lengthy session. 

However, group therapy, couples therapy, and specific solo therapy sessions (such as trauma therapy) may last longer. Generally, couples therapy will last for around 90 minutes, giving both parties the chance to discuss their feelings regarding the situation. But generally, most regular solo therapy sessions will be no longer than 1 hour in length. 

How Your Circumstances Will Affect This

But, as we have mentioned, the length of the therapy session will differ depending on the style of therapy that you are taking part in. The best therapy for you will differ depending on your situation, so your circumstances will impact how long each therapy session lasts. 

Generally, the length of your therapy sessions will not be decided until the first session. The first session will often be very short as it is simply an opportunity to meet the therapist and talk about the issues you want to address through therapy. The therapist will then decide which session length is best for you. They will consider things such as the problem, the duration of the problem, and if your lifestyle exacerbates the problem. 

The therapist can put together a “treatment plan” using this information. With therapy, you have control over the situation, and ultimately the therapist guides you to resolve the problem. However, the therapist is the expert, so they can usually put together a good plan based on the information you supply. 

They may also advise you on a specific style of therapy depending on your situation; for example, if you are living with a mental illness, this might influence which therapy is best for you. Conditions such as anxiety and depression may affect which style of therapy works best for you, so the therapist can advise you on the best way to proceed. 

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How Long Does it Take For Therapy to Work?

Recognizing that therapy isn’t a quick fix for your problems is essential. Therapy targets the source of the problem rather than treating symptoms. So if the source of the issue is buried deep, it will often take a lot of therapy sessions to resolve the problem and learn to live with it. Ultimately how long it takes for therapy to work depends on you. 

No two people are the same, which makes therapy so good. As a treatment plan, therapy is unique for everybody, this also means that it will take a different period for therapy to work for different people. So there is no direct answer to this question. Generally, when a therapist puts together the initial treatment plan, they will have a good idea of how long it will take for the therapy to be effective. Of course, the length of the treatment plan could be extended if your therapist feels it would benefit you. 

A lot of the time, people who attend therapy will attend between 6 and 20 sessions. If you have previously attended therapy, you might find that a short group of sessions is enough to help you get to the root of the problem. Alternatively, if you are new to therapy and the issue you are trying to resolve is buried deep, it might take a much longer period to resolve it. As a result, you may attend more therapy sessions. 

Therapy could simply be something you choose to attend regularly, especially if you don’t have anybody to speak to. Therapy can be very beneficial, no matter what is bothering you.


In short, therapy sessions can last anywhere between 50 and 90 minutes. Generally, solo therapy sessions will be closer to 50 minutes, while couples or group therapy sessions will be closer to 90 minutes. 

We hope the information in this guide has been helpful. Thank you for reading!

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